The Wire
Corner Boys

Episode Report Card
Wing Chun: B+ | 2 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
"We Got Our Thing, But It's Just Part Of The Big Thing"

Brice Manse. In his bedroom, Namond is half working on his package (not like that), half playing a videogame when De'londa enters, demanding to know what he's doing. Namond says he's "stretching bottles," but De'londa barks that Namond never saw Wee-Bey "bringing his work home with him" that way; that's what he's supposed to have a lieutenant for. I'll tell you, this rarely happens to kids whose after-school job is at McDonald's. (Or, like me and all the other little nerds: at the public library. Though I did often take my work home with me then.)

Carcetti and Norman leave Rawls's office, Norman asking whether Carcetti caught Rawls's "naked-ass appeal to racial solidarity": "I'd like to kick his pale, entitled ass." Don't forget flabby! Carcetti deadpans, "Were you listening? He's no more a racist than I am." Norman threatens to kick his ass too. Hee. Also: that would be a very brief encounter. Once they're in the elevator, Carcetti asks what Norman knows about Daniels. Norman says he's "not much politically," and doesn't have "suction" with anybody. If Carcetti's smart, he'll know that means Daniels is definitely his man.

Lee house. Bug's colouring at the kitchen table as Michael opens the fridge and cupboards, finding them all empty. He finally calls out to his mother, in the living room, asking where the Rice-a-Roni is. She takes a while to answer, but eventually says that there was a kid outside who looked like he was starving, so she gave it to him. Michael asks whether she cooked it for him, but she says she just gave it to him. Michael dubiously asks whether the kid really ate a raw box of Rice-a-Roni, and finally asks how much she got for selling all their groceries. Mrs. Lee has the gall to act offended to be called out for something she...totally did, and tells Michael that she has to go out. Michael turns his back to her as he takes a wad of cash out of his pocket and peels her off a bill. "Ten?!" she yelps when he hands it to her. "You got your Rice-a-Roni profits," Michael tartly reminds her. She tells him she isn't going to let him keep the DSS card if he isn't going to do right by her, but Michael flatly informs her that she will let him keep the card. Mrs. Lee flounces out the front door without even bothering to close it behind her, at which Michael goes after her and yells, "Next time, don't go selling the food outta our mouths!" Mrs. Lee, focused on her score, doesn't even turn around.

Duquette's class. Namond's holding forth, saying that adults in authority positions are always telling them not to lie, or steal, or "bump," and so forth, but what about the government? Enron? Steroids? The liquor and cigarette industries? Duquette, Bunny, and Parenti, on the hot seat at the front of the room, look both chastened that he's right, and pleased that he's managed to extend his point so fluently. Namond asks Duquette whether she has any cigarettes in her bag, and she immediately says she's trying to quit, before smirking at herself for getting caught out, as the kids laugh. Darnell tells Bunny that drugs paid his salary when he was a cop; Bunny says that's not quite right, but that he takes Darnell's point. Namond says that the corner boys just do the same things they see adults doing all the time, but get treated like their transgressions are the end of the world. Zenobia says, "Yeah, we got our thing, but it's just part of the big thing." Yeah, um...I never thought I'd say this, but let Namond be your spokesman. Bunny asks whether they think they could sit down and write up the laws of the corner. Namond excitedly says that he'll do it right now, but Bunny says he meant that they should all work on it together. And the kids are successfully tricked into learning.

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